So …the end of the school year. It began for me in mid-August (that’s Leicestershire for you) and has finished with me engaging with one of the most exciting opportunities of my working life to date. I am so looking forward to my first full school year as Headteacher of The Buckingham School.
It’s been a fantastic run to the end of term, with so many events and achievements to celebrate. Please enjoy reading about them all.
It’s a slow process alongside the main job, but I’m slowly getting to know some faces around town. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve put a few more faces to names: Councillor Robin Stuchbury, Roz Bird (Commercial Director, Silverstone Park), a couple more local Head colleagues, to name but a few. Only this week I welcomed the Mayor of Buckingham, Jon Harvey into school. We chatted for so long, that we didn’t get around to touring the school – next time Jon! He was very keen to hear about my vision for the school and its position in the town, and he has blogged some kind words about us:
We’ve had a few words from a small handful of parents about the cessation of setting/streaming for Years 7/8 next year. We are committed to building every opportunity that we can to ensure that our students get every opportunity to progress, and are not consigned to pre-determined outcomes because they didn’t pass an examination aged eleven. The evidence base for this decision is immense – setting is generally detrimental. I have significant experience of leading Mathematics (I was a Head of department for nine years in a highly selective independent school) and I fought with successive Heads over the years to continue with my “no-setting” policy. The fact that we had consistently the best results in the school always helped my arguments. Don’t let us be distracted from the key factor: quality of teaching.
We were delighted to finally get our plans for rejuvenating the House system off the ground recently. We have appointed staff to lead our six Houses – their brief is to instil belonging and pride in the Houses, extending our House competitions far beyond the inter-house sport that already takes place. After consulting the students, we have renamed the Houses too, so that they can have permanent, locally connected names. Congratulations to Mr Ribbans, Head of Chandos House, Miss Vaill (Claydon House), Miss Hare (Silverstone House), Mr Wise (Stowe House), Mrs Wallace (Swan House) and Ms Barten (Whittlebury House). Let the competitions begin!
Which leaves me to say to the community here in North Bucks. Thank you. Thank you for your welcome, your support and your commitment to the community’s school. We still have our doubters, but we will win them over, one by one.
Enjoy your summer, everyone.
With best wishes.
Mr A McGinnes
I am delighted to share some exciting staffing news with you.
Following an exceptional interview, Mr Fox has been promoted to Deputy Head as a replacement for Mr Roberts.
Mr Osborne has had his vital contribution to ICT strategy and teaching recognised with a permanent Assistant Head post.
Miss Branson, currently Head of Science, has been promoted to Assistant Head, with responsibility for data, targets, tracking and so forth.
We have created a new post to coordinate the school’s rapidly expanding STEM activity and Miss Townes has been asked to undertake this responsibility.
After bringing the Modern Languages department into such excellent shape, Mrs Caesar is stepping down as Curriculum Leader and her post has been divided between two staff: Mrs Hatton (Head of French) and Mrs Hernandez (Head of Spanish).
Finally, there is maternity cover to announce for next year: Miss Graham will lead Humanities, Mr Ribbans will cover for Miss Cowley as Assistant Curriculum Leader, for PE, Miss Simmonds will cover as Professional Tutor for trainees and NQTs. Mr Churchward is absent for the beginning of the year and Miss Keeping will undertake his role as Curriculum Leader for PE in his absence.
Mr A McGinnes, Headteacher
Senior Student Leadership Team
It is safe to say that our current Senior Student Leadership Team has been the strongest we’ve ever had at The Buckingham School. The eight strong team, all in Year 12, have been absolutely sensational this year, showing great enthusiasm and tremendous effort in working towards improving students’ experiences while at school. All will be returning next year and all will build on what they have started this year.
Each member of the team has been responsible for a certain area. Lauren McPartlane and Henry Judge filled the role of Head Girl and Head Boy, respectively. It was fantastic to hear them speak to parents during the transition events; Emily Adamson led the ’Student to Student’ mentoring scheme; Alexandra Forward was responsible for creating leadership roles for younger students; Iris Hampton has created a ’Life Skills’ programme for students; Tom Hardy has been the Student Senior Link to the Student Council; and Jamie Oliver has supported students through mentoring.
The team’s main aim next year will be to continue to strengthen their areas and embed those further within the school life.
Recently, the team attended a Leadership Conference in Marlow and have come back inspired and motivated to do their part in making the school the best that it can be. There is no doubt in our minds that they will do just that.
Pictured below: The Senior Student Leadership Team
Primary Computing Festival
The Buckingham School played host to our third annual primary computing festival, where students from George Grenville Academy, Lace Hill Academy and Marsh Gibbon had a full day of computing activities. The students learned how to perform magic card tricks by following algorithms, solve gridlock issues and stimulated sending information packets across a network. One of the highlights of the day was the robotics competition in which the students were led by digital leaders from Roundwood Primary School to run the lego robotics through a race track.
Buckingham University School Trip, 3 July 2018
For the second year in a row the computing students have visited the Applied Computing Department at the University of Buckingham.
Each group of students got the chance to experience a university style tutorial on image filters - like the technology used to create Instagram and Snapchat filters, use cutting edge Augmented Reality headsets and participate in a discussion on the ethical implications of developing technology.
STEAM FAIR - 19 July 2018
On Wednesday, we launched The Buckingham School’s first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Summer Fair as an end of year fundraising event. The fair had several attractions to entertain and enrich students. Throughout the day students attended a mobile planetarium, learning all about the various different planets in our solar system, competed in several student developed games and earned tickets to exchange for awesome prizes (including the opportunity to dump a bucket of ice water on me!).
The amazing games were developed by our keen students and supported by staff, representing the full range of STEAM subjects at the school; music, computing, music, maths, psychology, science, and two teams competing in the enterprise challenge. To help build the atmosphere of the fair students were regaled with live music performed by our GCSE music students and Ms. Rogers. The feedback from all students and staff has been incrediblypositive and with everyone’s help we raised £260 pounds for next year’s STEAM budget!
Lacey Townes, STEM Leader & Computing Teacher
Pictures below from the day.
Royal Society of Chemistry
Midway through June, students from Year 8 and Year 9 were given the opportunity to attend small workshops about Chemistry in the real world. It was a brilliant day put on by the Royal Society of Chemistry and the students learned a lot. One student said ’I really liked being shown how to give people a black eye with makeup!’ Below are a few of the pictures of our day.
On Monday 25th June, Ms Rodrigues and I took fourteen Year 7 students to Green Park, in Aston Clinton, to visit the STEM Fair BigBang@Bucks 2018.
There were lots of exciting science-based games and activities for the students and I picked up a few new ideas for our own Science Club. The students enjoyed talking to scientists and engineers from many local organisations and they gained an insight into interesting careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. All too soon it was time to get back on the bus with bags full of brilliant prizes for successfully completing the challenges!
Anne Dornan - Science Technician
Luffield Arts Festival
On Tuesday 26th of June 2018, five Year 8 students from The Buckingham School, joined by five students from The Royal Latin school, travelled in the minibus to Magdalen College School, Brackley, to take part in the Annual Luffield Arts Festival. When we got there we met two other groups of students, one from Stowe and the other from Magdalen.
We created a piece of work inspired by Frida Kahlo and the Mexican Day of the Dead Festival. We began by drawing a self-portrait, using a mirror for reference we each tried really hard to capture our facial features and one distinctive characteristic of ourselves. Then we added pattern to our work, the aim was to leave no empty space on the page!
After that, we sketched out our designs and added heat-reactive dyes to accentuate our work. We used paintbrushes to do this, but the dyes were more watery than paint so small details were tricky to achieve. Over at the heat press, our pieces were transferred on to fabric in 60 seconds! It was really exciting releasing the work from the press and revealing brightened colours.
Next we added even more detail by hand sewing, using embroidery thread. We chose areas of our design that we wanted to enhance. We used a range of stitches and some of us even added sequins to areas of our work.
We have all experienced several new media now and have learned and practised a technique which we did not know about before. We had a great time, thank you!
For the Drama element of the Luffield Festival, students focused on the play ‘Blood Brothers’ by Wily Russell. For Dance, students worked together, contributing good ideas with different styles.
One student said, the experience was amazing and hopefully we will be given the opportunity to do this again!
Students also participated in an Interactive Science Day, again, as part of the Luffield Programme, hosted by the Royal Latin School. Pictured here are our students working hard to solve a murder mystery using key forensic science skills!
On Monday, 150 students from The Buckingham School and The Royal Latin School, took part in a Shakespeare workshop led by the Castle Theatre Company from Durham. Students had the opportunity to work collaboratively, to develop their understanding of Shakespeare through a drama workshop. The event was supported by The Buckingham Literary Festival.
All students that took part were outstanding! We hope to see The Castle Theatre Company again next year. Miss Checkley.
Performing Arts Ambassador
Congratulations to Charlotte (Year 7), who, through all her hard work has become an Ambassador for Performing Arts.
In her first year of school, Charlotte has joined the Dance Club, performed in the School Show, become a Dance Leader working with primary schools, attended Drama Club, been a member of the Luffield Dance Group and performed in the school Dance Show.
What an amazing year for Charlotte.
Ms R Hunt, Curriculum Leader for Performing Arts
Annual Community Arts Project
On July 19th The Buckingham School hosted the annual Community Arts Project. This is an Arts two day event which is sponsored by Buckingham Town Council and culminates in a Drama performance and Art exhibition.
The Buckingham School and The Royal Latin School work in collaboration to produce this event – which links with the Fringe week in Buckingham. This year 15 students (Years 9 and 10) from both schools worked with Miss Checkley (TBS) and Miss Stevens (RLS) to create a fantastic response to the word ‘Community’. They presented some thought provoking ideas.
It was truly a collaborative performance and staff from both schools, plus the Mayor and many of the town Councillors were in attendance for the evening show.
Also, last week saw the school's annual Dance Show with many of our talented students performing. We have too many photos to display here. It was an amazing performance, well done to everyone involved.
What amazing talent we have in school! Photo credit: Victoria Wattam (Sixth Form) for taking so many fantastic photos.
Head of Year Quiz Night
Thank you to everyone for your support with the third Buckingham School Quiz Night fundraiser! We have now raised over a £300 to put towards student rewards – thank you to all who has supported each of the quizzes this year! One Head of Year, two Assistant Head of Years and two fiancés were our first prize winners this time around.
There will hopefully be another round of quizzes from September. Who will be the next team to win?
Fundraising Efforts - Cancer Research Pretty Muddy 5k
Miss Chapman, Mrs Baxter, Mrs Lewis and Mrs Field completed Cancer Research’s Pretty Muddy 5k at Priory Park in Bedford at the end of June.
A massive thanks to those of you who donated to the cause - it is very much appreciated.
We made it round the course in about an hour despite the ridiculously hot temperatures and a few underhanded tactics by some. We’re mainly injury free....a few bruises and scrapes here and there.
So far we have raised £1371 plus £331.50 in Gift Aid. There's still time to donate if you haven't had a chance yet:
The Year 8 Girls Netball team have officially won the Netball League and were this week presented with their medals in assembly. The girls have really pulled together this year and winning the league is a reward for their hard work, commitment and dedication. I could not be prouder of each and everyone of you. We need to train hard and keep our title next year, congratulations girls and thank you for a year of laughs, giggles and wins!
Well done, one very proud coach! Miss Collie.
Touch Rugby - School Games Competition
The Year 7 and 8 Girls Rugby Touch Team took part in the Sainsbury’s Level 3 School Games competition on Thursday 5 July 2018. The girls competed against five other teams from across the county, all teams had qualified for the finals by securing 1st position in the qualification events. The girls won all of their games, conceded only 2 tries all day and scored an unbelievable amount of tries. Every member of the team was outstanding and a special well done to Amy Lee as Team Captain and Alice Hodges as Vice Captain.
I cannot wait until next academic year to continue our Rugby journey...You were fantastic girls, I am so proud. Miss Collie.
Sporting Success from our Talented Sports Students
We have enjoyed a number of successes this year. Congratulations to you all, particularly those of you taking national honors. You are an inspiration to all the budding athletes, sportsmen and women in the school and we wish you continued success and honors in years to come.
Please make sure you keep us up to date with your achievements, if you don’t tell us we can not celebrate it.
The majority of our Year 12 students attended the UCAS Exhibition at Bedford University. There were around 200 universities in attendance with exhibition stands for students to collect information and ask questions. Alongside this, students had the opportunity to attend mini lectures in subjects that they were considering applying for which gave them a greater insight. The day was a great success and students came back more informed as to their choices, one even saying that the day had convinced them University was the right option.
The following day students had the opportunity to start their application online and prepare their personal statements in support of this. Tutors were there to give advice and many thanks to Billy Hayden, now at Newcastle university studying Law, who came in to give students his perspective on the application process and any pitfalls that might lie ahead. He was also able to talk about his first year at university and what potential applicants should be aware off. Again, many thanks and good luck to all students throughout the process.
Buckingham University Law Conference
Students Studying Criminology and Law attended the above conference to find out more about careers in law and what a law degree entails. They had the opportunity to participate as jurors in the re-enactment of an historic trial. The lecturers and university law students play out the trial and ten students have to come up with their verdicts. Last year the majority went for not guilty - In real life the defendant got 15 years!!
Year 13 Leavers
The Year 13 leavers 2018 had an eventful and exciting last day when they all arrived dressed for the careers they envisaged when they were at primary school. Some are still aiming for similar jobs!!! Occupations on display varied from chefs to surgeons and Ballet Dancers to Soldiers.
We wish all students the very best for the future and look forward to celebrating their success on results day.
Year 11's.......there’s still time to apply for Sixth Form. Apply today, tomorrow or on/after GCSE Results Day.
Are you an ex-Student? If so, be great to hear from you!
We are keen to know what you are doing now? If you would like to get in touch with us, please send an email to Claire Sherwood at email@example.com
Changes to Universal Credit - Are you eligible for Free School Meals?
If you think you might be eligible for free school meals, submit a claim to the school or local authority. If you are eligible, the school will be notified. Your child will receive free school meals and will continue to do so until the end of their current phase of education, i.e. primary or secondary.
To read the letter sent out to all parents/carers in May, click here.
To view and download a copy of the Free School Meals form click here.
Please can anyone who wants to re-join the Equestrian Team in September 2018 or is starting The Buckingham School in September, please make contact with Team Managers Louise Smith or Jenny Heir.
Louise = firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny = email@example.com
It’s £20 for the joining fee to the National School Equestrian Association for 2018-2019.
When joining the School Equestrian Team, you will have the chance to compete in Show Jumping, Hunter Trials, Dressage and Arena Eventing both as individuals and team selections.Grass Root competitions start at 40cm up to 75cm and Qualifier Championship shows start at 65cm up to 1.10m. You will require your own horse/pony for these events and will require your own transport.
Further information can be found on the NSEA website www.nsea.org.uk or contact Louise or Jenny.
Do you have any unwanted lego or duplo? It doesn’t need to be sets of lego or duplo, just random bricks. Year 7 and 8’s are keen to run a lego Club from September in the Learning Resource Centre.
Magazine and Newspaper Request
If you have any magazines suitable for Years 7, 8 and 9 for students to read at break/lunch times, please let me know or bring them in to the LRC. We are also keen to receive newspapers (they don’t need to be recent issues).
Thank you for your support.
Moretonville Junior Football Club are currently looking for Year 7 boys who may be interested in joining the Hurricanes team at Moretonville next season from September as we move to 11-a-side. If you are interested please contact Michael Turner, 07769 876234, ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’
Remembering Reg Mead MBE
The school would like to remember Reg Mead MBE who died on Friday 8 June., aged 97.
The school is seeking to appoint an enthusiastic Kitchen Assistant to join our team. The kitchen team is friendly and supportive and the successful candidate will be a team player and motivated to complete their work a high standard.
We seek to appoint an ambitious, enthusiastic, creative and highly motivated Teacher of Art, with a real passion for teaching and learning to joint our thriving department.Whilst having a real passion for teaching and learning we are looking for an innovative and committed classroom practitioner...